How to Clean or Remove Toxic Mold in Buildings

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Indoor mold is an everyday problem that can get out of hand very quickly. We’re all familiar with the fuzzy grey substance that grows on bread if we leave it out for too long, or the orange slimy stuff that can appear in drains that haven’t been cleaned in a while. No mold is healthy when it’s found indoors, but black mold is probably the most hazardous to have in the home. If you’ve detected toxic black mold in your house, or know someone who has, here’s how to clean or remove toxic mold in buildings.

Mold is a type of fungus that has a special place in our ecosystem. Fungus is a unique organism that is unlike any other – it is not a plant, an animal, or a bacteria. Molds are a form of microorganism that help break down dead organic matter. If it wasn’t for mold, compost from leaves, plants, and other vegetation would not decompose and turn into fresh, rich soil. While mold is perfectly natural and healthy outdoors, it is not beneficial to humans when it’s indoors. In order to grow and flourish, mold needs moisture as well as a source of food. It also needs an optimum temperature somewhere between 4 and 37 degrees Celcius in order to thrive. Mold will grow on organic material that it’s able to consume, so you can find it on food, paper, wood, and other wood-based materials. The key, though, is moisture. Mold tends to thrive in wet climates, and will grow indoors wherever there’s any extra moisture present. Mold enjoys a humidity that’s over 60 percent. This humidity allows for condensation that lands on surfaces, giving mold the perfect environment in which to grow. Mold grows via micro root hairs called hyphae. A tiny mold colony can rapidly branch out to inhabit several square feet. Mold becomes airborne when it releases spores. Spores are tiny seeds that are virtually indestructible – they can withstand high temperatures, cold ones, dry environments, and wet ones. Spores float through the air, spreading mold colonies to new locations. Once they land in an optimum location, they take root and another colony will form. Mold spores cannot be avoided in our natural world, and for the most part, they are harmless, especially when they exist only outdoors; however, when their populations are concentrated indoors, they can affect human health adversely if they are constantly being inhaled.

There are certain kinds of molds that are particularly dangerous to human health when they grow inside a building. One, in particular, is toxic black mold, which is to be distinguished from black mold, which is not nearly as harmful. Toxic black mold, otherwise known as Stachybotrys chartarum, is a toxic mold that can grow indoors and is particularly unsafe for humans. This form of black mold produces mycotoxins, which are a toxic chemical released as part of the mold’s metabolic processes. When humans are exposed to mycotoxins for prolonged periods, or even short ones, they can become very ill. Mycotoxins can be inhaled or even absorbed into the body through the pores of the skin. When it comes to cleaning toxic black mold in the home, it’s imperative that you follow strict safety measures, so you will not be adversely affected. That’s why this article on mold removal is so important. This informative article on toxic mold cleanup is from the “Inspectapedia” website, a free building and environmental inspection encyclopedia where you can brows through more educational topics related to building diagnosis, management, cleanup, and repair.*

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